The Seven Deadly Gutter Sins

Unsure if your gutters have been installed correctly, or are in good shape? Check out our list of Gutter Sins below.

1.    Clogged Gutters

Clogged gutters cause water to stand and stagnate at the bottom of the gutter and often overflow. Consequences: erosion, mosquitoes, rust through, roof damage, foundation damage, siding damage, and damage to the gutter and roof support system from excess weight.

2.    No Drains or Splash Blocks

When water leaves the downspouts it needs to be directed away from the structure. Newer homes usually have underground drainpipes connected to the downspouts while older homes carry the water safely away by means of “splash blocks” installed at the downspout’s. Without either of these water will find its way into and under the foundation. Consequences: standing water in the crawl area, mold, mildew, foundation settlement and dry rot.

3.    No Flashing at Eaves

Lack of flashing between the back of the gutters and the wooden support structure of the roof is a very common problem. Without flashing, bare wood is exposed to the water and debris passing through the gutters.  Consequences: Dry rot, termites, roof rot and insect infestations.

 

4.    Defective Pitch

Defective gutter pitch prevents water from flowing to the downspouts. This slows the water’s evacuation and can create areas of standing water. Consequences: erosion, mosquitoes, rust through, roof damage, foundation damage, siding damage and damage to the gutter support system and roof from excess weight.

5.    Poor Downspout Placement

Improper location of downspouts, or not having enough of them, can lead to standing water and overflows during heavy rains. Consequences: erosion, mosquitoes, rust through, roof damage, foundation damage, siding damage and damage to the gutter support system and roof from excess weight.

gutter sins

6.    Overgrown Gutters

Allowing shrubs and trees to overgrow the gutters can cause considerable problems. We have seen first hand examples of Wisteria plants that have completely removed the gutters from the structure and filled both gutter and downspouts with vines to the point they are no longer functioning. Consequences: gutter, roof and structural damage, foundation damage, siding damage, window and door damage, termites, ants.

7.    Loose, Damaged or Non-existent Gutters

These problems allow water to flow off the roof uncontrolled. When this occurs, water will find its way into the siding, trim, windows, doors, foundation and other areas where it is not wanted. Consequences: erosion, dry rot, foundation damage, landscape damage, siding damage, window and door damage, crawlspace moisture, mold and possibly structural damage.